Tuesday at lunchtime changed our learning and teaching mode with a different energy. As we first heard of the cancellation of our after-school program to dismissing an hour early, the priority of our entire staff became focused on ensuring our children would get home safely. Communication became our greatest strength. Teachers wanted to be certain that every parent knew what was happening. We wanted to be certain that even our bus riders had someone greeting them when they got off the bus. Specialists and support staff buzzed throughout the building assisting to call and contact our families. Classroom teachers used their strong avenues of communication in order to connect. Technology was our friend. Through texts, emails, twitter and phone lines, we slowly made our way through contacting everyone. We worked as a family to take care of each other.

As parents came to pick up their children, they expressed their willingness to help if we needed to get everyone home safely. Neighbors reached out to each other. Families and cousins shared contact information. Once again, I witnessed why Joyner is a family. My heart was warmed as each parent that I spoke with was grateful as well as expressive of concern for the all of the children of Joyner.

Thank you community. I was grateful Tuesday afternoon when every child was safely home before any weather came. I celebrate the staff for their work and focus. As I walked through the hallways at the end of the day, I heard teachers wrap up lessons, direct students to pack extra books and just assure any student who questioned what was going on. Our children left with their smiles in tact and their happy energy on high.

As I sit with the snow and ice piling up now, I worry for my students and staff. I hope everyone is safe. I hope that parents are able to make it home from work safely. I am thankful for our Joyner family and look forward to seeing everyone very soon back at school.